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12.3.09

Pâte Brisée

More commonly referred to as "pie dough," pâte brisée is excellent for a host of dishes, from galettes to empañadas.

For one batch, you'll need:

+ flour, 1 1/4 cups
+ butter, 6 tablespoons, minced and chilled
+ shortening or lard*, 2 tablespoons, room temperature
+ ice water, 1/4 cup
+ salt, 1 pinch
+ sugar**, 1 teaspoon

In a food processor or with a pastry cutter, combine the dry ingredients with the butter and shortening to achieve a texture similar to sand or cornmeal. Add water; gently mix until a ball forms. Remove from bowl or food processor, shape into a flattened round with clean and lightly floured hands. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

* If you happen to be short on shortening (which, in the South, is a rather huge offense), you can simply use 8 total tablespoons of butter. In my experience, your dough will be less flaky than if you used two different fats. For the most part, however, it'll be fine-- but I will judge you, if only a little.

** If you're using the dough in a savory application, feel free to omit the sugar. It won't make or break the recipe!

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